Portrait of a Man with an Arrow (c.1470-1475)

Memling, Hans (c.1430-1494)

Portrait of a Man with an Arrow
Oil on panel, 31.3 x 25.1 cm
National Gallery of ArtWashington

Shown from the shoulders up, a man with peachy skin looks off to our left as he holds the feathered end of an arrow up in a hand resting along the bottom edge of this vertical portrait painting. Shown against a marine-blue background, he looks into the distance with hazel eyes under bushy eyebrows. He has a long, bumped nose, and his full, pale pink lips are closed. His round cheeks are tinged with pink, and there is a hint of a five-o-clock shadow around his mouth and jawline. Chestnut-brown, curly hair hangs to the base of his neck, and wispy curls fall across his forehead from under his tall, chocolate-brown cap. The cap has a small gold pin high over the ear we can see. The man wears a garnet-red jacket with a black collar over a white collarless shirt decorated with five black, narrow bands below the neckline. The fingers of his right hand, to our left, rest with the fingertips braced along on the bottom edge of the painting, as if along a ledge. He pinches the shaft of an arrow with his index finger and thumb, so we see the sienna-brown feathers. He wears a gold ring embedded with a small blue gem near the first knuckle of his ring finger. (NGA)